Frank Gaffney

We know for certain that the President’s new Pentagon chief is in favor of at least the most alarming of these – the idea of opening direct negotiations with Iran in the interest of facilitating a “regional approach” to the conflict in Iraq. His enthusiasm for this idea goes back at least to 2004 when he co-chaired with Zbigniew Bzrezinski a task force of the Council on Foreign Relations that endorsed “engaging” Iran.

It can only be hoped that at least some Senators will explore this idea with Mr. Gates. Sadly, most of them seem more interested in getting Mr. Rumsfeld out the door than assuring his relief is up to the job. Still, they have an obligation to examine with care why the nominee thinks the United States can usefully negotiate with a regime like that of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad given the latter’s public embrace of the following positions:

  • “If you want to have good relations with the Iranian people in the future, you should acknowledge the right and the might of the Iranian people, and you should bow and surrender to the might of the Iranian people. If you do not accept this, the Iranian people will force you to bow and surrender.”
  • “The battle that is going on in Palestine today is the frontline of the conflict between the Islamic world and the Oppressor World. It is a battle of destiny that will determine the fate of hundreds of years of conflict in Palestine.” And “Israel must be wiped off the map.”
  • “We must prepare ourselves to rule the world and the only way to do that is to put forth views on the basis of the Expectation of the Return [of the Twelfth Imam, whose arrival will be preceded by the apocalypse]. If we work on th[at] basis…all the affairs of our nation will be streamlined.”
  • “With the support and power of God, we will soon experience a world without the United States.”
  • This sampler of the Iranian president’s vitriol is hardly exhaustive. But it is illustrative of an inescapable fact: We are confronting an Iranian regime that is determined to destroy this country and other freedom-loving peoples. It is one thing if Jim Baker and his unaccountable gang have convinced themselves and irresponsible politicians on both sides of the aisle that we must “be willing to negotiate with our enemies” in order to secure the political fig leaf needed to obscure our surrender in Iraq.

    It is an altogether different thing, however, for the President of the United States to embrace such an idea. If the President is, indeed, determined not to surrender in Iraq and, thereby, to avoid inexorably setting in train dire repercussions worldwide, Mr. Bush had better make sure that the man to whom he is entrusting his key national security portfolio, Bob Gates, will follow his direction – not that of Jim Baker.

    Frank Gaffney

    Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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